15mm Belts like the Shapeoko Pro?

Just watching the Shapeoko pro video, when the belt widths have been increased to 15mm. Looking at my machine, a Shapeoko 3 with a Z plus, it looks pretty possible to install 15mm belts. There is enough room, although it would mean longer standoffs for the X stepper motor, a spacer to fit the wider belt on the guides, a wider pulley and a different belt attachment fitting. On the video, Winston mentioned that the steel core belts had difficulty with the tight bends and this reduced their life span. Any opinions?

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The belt change was a good idea. Steel cores can last but are significantly more sensitive to tension.

I think the toughest thing will be the tensioners with offset mounting holes.


I’m actually surprised the steel core belts were added in the first place. The 3D printing world has learned awhile ago that to use them properly, you need a significantly larger diameter pulley so the belts don’t work harden prematurely. The Gates belts with aramid fibers are amazing.

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I have been fighting with my steel core belts from go. They like to move back to the first position that I set them in.

I am a little upset after seeing the Pro video. After owning my XXL since March they release the machine that I wanted and I have been trying to get it too. I have slowly been trying to engineer the design. I machine mostly hard maple and I have come to the same conclusions Carbide did. Larger belt and elimination of v wheels. Now I am hoping they can come up with at least a semi-pro upgrade of us S3 owners. My CFO(wife) will not allow me to purchase the pro until I can make the return on the S3 and enough to justify cost SP.


If there’s no factory option, there’s others working on it :wink:

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Might want to look at 10mm belts. I have been running steel core 10mm and they seem to last a good bit longer than the 9mm when it comes to work hardening. I would have to look back to see when I put this set on, but they have lasted longer than any belt (fiber or steel core) that I have run so far.

I am looking into how I could run a larger width authentic Gates belts, though.

Of course there is…I am currently working on it…But damn it Jim, I’m a woodworker not an engineer. lol. I’m sure they could sell the rails, new 15mm pulleys, spacers to add rails, etc for less then I can source them for. Fingers crossed…

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Problem is, as they said in the video, there’s hardly any common parts and many of the key dimensions have changed, such as the X rail length, so the kit would be basically a new Shapeoko Pro.

The implementation for a retrofit to a Shaepoko XXL is not going to share many or any parts.

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Completely, agreed. You can see that there are two different beasts. I would just like to be able to take advantage of Carbide’s sourcing, pricing and hopefully some engineering. Semi-pro machine not the pro machine. I am sure they have a better idea of which of the many rail/bearings would work best with a price more reasonable. Food for thought for my friends at Carbide…

Well, I’ve ordered some 15mm pulleys and 5 metres of belt. Not sure how it will work out, and I certainly have no idea how to clamp the belt, but I’ll burn those bridges when I come to them.


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